More Americans Access e-Records

Roughly 56 million Americans have accessed their medical information on a physician-maintained electronic health record and 41 million more would like to do so, a new industry report finds.

Some 140 million Americans, however, are not interested in retrieving medical records electronically, reports Manhattan Research, a New York-based pharmaceutical and health care market research company. In contrast to their EHR-friendly peers, consumers who are disinclined to access electronic health data tend to be older, less educated and less likely to use the Internet or Web-enabled mobile electronic devices, reports the firm in Cybercitizen Health U.S. 2011, its study of consumer digital health trends.

Despite that lingering resistance, "growth in access of electronic health records by patients has been remarkable in the last year," says Meredith Ressi, president of Manhattan Research, in a news release issued Wednesday. "There's been strong pent-up demand from consumers over the years, but only now has the supply side caught up as a result of the government mandate. This is the beginning of a real shift in care delivery and patient engagement."

Manhattan Research derived its data by surveying 8,745 adults online and over the phone during the third quarter of this year.

In a separate study, Taking the Pulse U.S., the firm found that iPads and other tablet computers would likely accelerate EHR adoption among physicians. The tablets provide portability for doctors throughout the day, the company says.

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